At a time Pakistan is trying to improve political and business relations with Afghanistan and India, the Asian Development Bank has suggested that Pakistan has the potentials to become a trade hub in the region in the wake of rapid development in several European and Asian countries. On east side of Pakistan, there is a permanent enemy which has been rejecting the hand of friendship and offers of healthy business and trade relations. The neighbour on the west is so-called brotherly Islamic country, but has been toeing the line of India to keep its hostility alive against Pakistan without any logic or reasons. Pakistan has always supported Afghan people in thick and thin, but it has stabbed in the back whenever it has a chance to do so. The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation,which was setup decades ago, to enhance cooperation in the fields of political, business and trade among the partner countries, has lost its utility at the hands of India. The extremists’ government in India does not want to dissolve this forum, but keep it in cold storage to block the entry of China in it. There are inherent flaws in the Indian diplomacy which all the way and all the times revolve around Pakistan.
It is very pleasant to hear the comment from Xiaohong Yang, the ADB Country Director, that with the rapid economic expansion of Russia, India, China and Japan, and Europe economies, there is a unique opportunity for Pakistan to emerge as the centre of trade and commerce. But Indian leadership will hit its own feet to harm the Pakistani interests. The bank official has launched the Central Asian Regional Economic Cooperation Strategy 2030, a new long-term strategic framework for the regional cooperation, which will open a platform of regional cooperation and will connect people, policies and projects for shared and sustainable development. However, there is no one there to convince New Delhi that this is an era of economic development. The wars are now fought on the economic fronts and not on the war fronts. Trade between Pakistan and China is growing but the level of trade is low with Iran, Afghanistan and India due to various geo-political reasons. However, it is in the interest of India to establish close friendly relations with Pakistan and get access to the central Asian states and Europe.
There also flaws in the government rules and regulations which are complex and cumbersome when it comes to customs laws. The application of confusing laws is difficult not only for the customs authorities, but also for the business community. The bank suggested the federal government to ease and remove the barriers which are hampering the growth of business and trade.